You can say this for Crystal Gayle - she sure covers a lot of ground.
Performing with the Utah Symphony Saturday night at Deer Valley, Gayle went from country to folk to rock 'n' roll to gospel to bluegrass with a little old-time swing thrown in for good measure.In just one hour she managed to give the audience at least a smattering of just about every major hit she's had, from "Talking in Your Sleep" to "Too Long Time" to "When I Dream" to her biggest hit, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue."
She also had no qualms about borrowing from others: her sister, Loretta Lynn ("Coal Miner's Daughter"), Peter, Paul and Mary ("If I Had a Hammer"), The Animals ("House of the Rising Sun") and, yes, Elvis ("Hound Dog").
How to do this in a 13-song set, you ask? Lots of medleys.
Wearing a dark green gown studded with rhinestones, and with her famous long hair falling down to her ankles, Gayle kept things light, performing something for everyone, from loyal early fans to those relatively unfamiliar with her music.
Best known for her ballads, some of Gayle's best moments Saturday occurred when she let loose with a hard-driving, lung-busting tune like "Go On and Cry" or her toe-tapping medley of gospel songs including "Somebody Touched Me" and "Jesus on the Main Line."
The between-song patter with her bandmates was punctuated, somewhat incongruously, with ribald jokes. Herewith one of the more sanitized, courtesy of her fiddler, Buddy: "I asked my wife what she wanted for her birthday. She said she wanted a divorce. I told her I wasn't planning on spending that much money."
One of Gayle's bandmates was her own sister, Peggy Sue, who sang backup and once took center stage for their sister Loretta's "Don't Come Home Drinkin' With Lovin' On Your Mind."
Gayle has been around a while. Now 47, her first hit was in 1974. As she has gotten older her alto range has become deeper and her high range thinner - she struggled noticeably on many of the high notes Saturday. But when she's in her low comfort range, she emotes as well as she ever did.